TRAPPED UPDATE: Family in dramatic Camberwell fire video survive

RAPPED and terrified, a family huddle together on a high-rise balcony while a building burns all around them.

With incredible bravery, Rasheed Nuhu and his wife do their best to comfort their two small children in their arms - using towels to shield them from the heat and smoke.

They were only about 30 feet from the seat of the blaze in Camberwell, south London, which killed six people on Friday. The family huddled together while two fireman on a lift ladder sprayed the balcony with water in an attempt to prevent the flames spreading.

Fire video shows Nuhu family trapped on balcony in Camberwell, south London

"I thought this was the end," Mr Nohu later told Channel 4 News. "I looked to my left and saw this massive fireball. I just thought we are in a precarious situation and we have to plan a getaway."

The footage was taken by Anthony Reece, who was heading off to shoot a music video when he saw the smoke pouring from the building and took a detour.

Mr Reece, 25, of nearby Dulwich, said: "I was totally shocked by what I saw.

"It's the worst thing I've ever filmed, but I just thought I'd better let it roll.

"I saw one man [Rasheed Nuhu] try climbing over a balcony with a rope and he was going to jump. I was watching too stunned to film it, but fortunately people were shouting at him not to and he climbed back in."

Jospeh Paco was among those calling out to the man. Joseph, 36, said: "We were all shouting at him, telling him not to do it as it was too dangerous.

"He had tied the blankets together and went to lower himself down to safety. But I kept shouting at him, 'Be patient, help is coming'."

Other shocking scenes on the video show a man going in and out of a smoke-filled flat on the top floor, as he struggles to breathe through a handkerchief. The far side of the building is a mass of flames, so he appears to be unable to escape.

The man survived by wrapping a towel around his head and walking to safety.

The speed at which the fire has swept through the building is all too obvious, with smoke and flames engulfing the whole structure with terrifying speed.

In the streets below there is pandemonium. A car lies on its side, upturned by emergency services in order for them to reach the scene.

Mr Nuhu said that as the fire took hold, his family gave refuge to two of the fire victims - Helen Udoaka, 34, and her three-week-old baby daughter, Michelle.

When his flat filled with smoke they moved to the flat of his next door neighbour Dayana Francisquini, who was protecting her two children in the bathroom.

Mrs Francisquini and her three-year old son Filipe later died in the blaze. It is thought her six-year-old daughter Thais is also dead, but police haven't made a formal identification.

Survivors and bereaved families will now be demanding urgent answers. Why was the fire able to spread through the building so quickly, leaving so many trapped while emergency services battled to reach them?

Two helplines have been set up for anyone needing information about the fire, a police number 0300 123 1212 and local authority number 0207 525 5000.


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